Deprived Solihull schoolchildren holidaying in Torquay for half-term - The Solihull Observer

Deprived Solihull schoolchildren holidaying in Torquay for half-term

Solihull Editorial 18th Feb, 2020 Updated: 18th Feb, 2020   0

A GROUP of deprived families from the north of Solihull is getting a rare half-term treat this week – with help from a Bed and Breakfast in Torquay.

Paula and Ray Duffy, who own and run Grosvenor House – supported by relatives, and a number of local businesses – are giving the families with children aged two to 13 a free seaside holiday.

Storm Dennis means it is not the best ‘English Riviera’ weather across the country, but for many it is their first holiday for years.

Paula and Ray say they heard about the plight of the families from former Solihull councillor Debbie Evans.




Debbie, who’s stayed at Grosvenor House several times, now works with HYPE (Helping Young People Excel) to support young families in the Kingshurst and Chelmsley Wood communities.

She has worked closely with a school in north Solihull to identify families most in need of a break and, along with daughter Sarah and support from the Digby Fund, paid for the coach transport.


Paula said: “Debbie told us about the families, and although we sent some dried goods for food parcels, we felt we could do more.

“So Ray and I suggested the holiday, which we’re delighted is happening. We couldn’t have done it without the support of Booker Wholesalers, local catering supplier, Caterfoods, or our farm egg suppliers, Black Dog Eggs in Crediton, who’ve helped us provide breakfasts and evening meals.

“Stagecoach, who operate the local bus network, have provided free tickets for the families to get around. And once the families head home, Downton Dry Cleaners, have agreed to process the laundry for free, as well.”

Debbie said: “Many of these families are struggling to make ends meet, let alone afford luxuries like a holiday. Grosvenor House in Torquay has been wonderful in offering this chance, and I know from speaking to the families, they are overwhelmed by Paula and Ray’s generosity.”

And a spokesperson for the school, which most of the children attend but wants to remain anonymous to protect their identities, says they’re delighted that the families are getting a holiday. They added: “We all know that a break is good for us, but sadly some of our families have not had the opportunity to have a break with their children due to a number of life stresses.”

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